Detection of near-surface horizontal anisotropy in a weathered metamorphic schist at Llano Uplift (Texas) by transient electromagnetic induction Academic Article uri icon


  • The use of transient controlled-source electromagnetic prospecting to detect buried, steeply dipping foliation in metamorphic rocks is illustrated with data acquired over the Precambrian Packsaddle schist in the Llano Uplift of central Texas. The azimuthal variation of the transient voltage at a given transmitter-receiver separation about a fixed central point is consistent with the forward model response of a homogeneous halfspace exhibiting horizontal electrical anisotropy. The loop-loop exploration configuration is ideally suited to probe horizontal anisotropy. A quantitative match of the forward response to the observed data produces reasonable electrical conductivity values and coefficient of anisotropy for resistive, crystalline geological materials. The most conductive direction consistently lies within a few degrees of the geologically mapped foliation strike direction. The electrical anisotropy is strongest below the near-surface weathered layer, within the more competent bedrock. The agent responsible for generating the anistropy cannot be definitively determined, because it is likely to be a combination of geological factors, such as weathering, compositional banding and microcracking, all of which enhance electrical conductivity parallel to the plane of foliation. The transient electromagnetics is supplemented by DC resistivity and seismic surveys. The elastic anisotropy is evident in the near-surface weathered layer, but it may not persist very deep into the underlying competent schist. The exposure of foliated schist at the surface is not sufficient to rule out a possible role for systematically aligned macrofracture sets as a secondary cause of the observed anisotropy. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Collins, J. L., Everett, M. E., & Johnson, B.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • October 2006